Two Australian teens posted some footage of their DIY wildfire rescue effort, where they drove into the danger to rescue koalas from the fires. The teens were able to fill their car with scared and injured koalas and eventually bring them to safety.
The video was posted by Micah Lovegrove and his cousin, who managed to save at least six koalas on Kangaroo Island, which is an island located off the coast of South Australia. Lovegrove said that his uncle was among many people on the island who lost property in the fire. During the fire on his uncle’s property, he noticed a lost koala making an attempt to flee the fire, and felt that he needed to do something to help, so he and his cousin took it upon themselves to carry out some rescue missions.
“Doing a little koala rescue… Just trying to collect as many live ones as we can,” one of the teenagers can be heard saying in the video.
Lovegrove said that once the koalas were rescued, he delivered them to a neighbor who has a permit to care for animals.
Teens save a carload of injured koalas dubbed 'The Koala Express'. 🥺 #Studio10 Narelda Jacobs
Gepostet von Studio 10 am Mittwoch, 8. Januar 2020
The koalas at Kangaroo Island are especially rare because they are isolated from the mainland, which has resulted in them being the only chlamydia-free populations of koalas. In a press release, Department of Environment bushfire recovery coordinator Brenton Grear said that koalas rescued from Kangaroo Island must be treated locally and not taken to the mainland in order to avoid contamination.
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Kangaroo Island was devastated by the fires, which torched roughly 625 square miles, a third of the entire island.
Wildlife experts now estimate that over a billion animals have lost their lives in the fires so far, with many more in serious danger after losing their habitat. Last week, it was estimated that over 12 million acres of land have been scorched in the fires thus far, which is about five times bigger than the damage caused to the Amazon earlier this year, and that figure has likely risen much higher in the week since.
Image Credit: REDDIT/STEVE_OH